Collins Out (note the clever play on my previous post’s title)

Due to an unexpected combination of a puking son (Kiersten, I feel your pain!!) and a spontaneous trip to Las Vegas (woot woot!), I’m actually out for the rest of the weekend.

But stay tuned!

My One Year Bloggiversary is upon us! It’s actually this Saturday, but seeing as how I will be out of town, I will begin the festivities* on Monday!!! So come back and see me then!

*Said festivities will–regretfully–not include: games, prizes, or other interactive events generally expected at blog events. The best you can hope for is a laugh, which I will be striving for most vigorously. I’m brewing something more along the lines of a glorified Photoshop Friday. :)

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Cop Out

So, I do a lot of driving, and I always listen to the radio. Well, lately the song, “Love Story” has caught my attention. But, in a bad way. (All except for a pretty rockin’ guitar solo just before the bridge.)Anyway, here is the song, roughly paraphrased:

verse 1-Teenage angsty, forbidden lovers
chorus-Teenage angsty, forbidden lovers
verse 2-Teenage angsty, forbidden lovers
chorus-Teenage angsty, forbidden lovers
rockin’ guitar solo
bridge-Teenage angsty, forbidden lovers
last verse-Teenagers get married, live happily ever after

Um . . . excuse me? Did I miss something? I mean, no offense to Taylor Swift, but this is the biggest cop out ending I’ve ever heard. It’s all wrong! We are not allowed to hear any satisfying reason why the father figure should suddenly agree to the match, and let them get married, for heavens sake. It just doesn’t make any sense. It’s like Swift was going along, writing the song, got to the end said, “Aw, they should end up together. Okay!” And she happily scribbles away the last verse.

Do you see the connection to writing novels? I believe that every story has a right ending, but sometimes it isn’t always the happiest, or the funnest to write. But, we writers can be so fixated on how we think it should end, on how we want it to end that we refuse to write it that way. We can also be so in love with our characters that we don’t want them to suffer, so we wrap up the story in a big, pretty bow. *coughBreakingDawncough* It just doesn’t work. The readers will sense it. And your story will lose some of the power that it could have had.

So, I call for all of us writers to be aware of the truth in our stories. The ending will show itself to us, we just have to be brave enough to write it that way. And, for the record, I think “Love Story” should have ended with the two forbidden lovers realizing that High School relationships are a joke, and that they would probably break up after a few weeks anyway, making English class lame and awkward for the rest of the year, so they should just skip the drama and move on.

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Photoshop Friday!

Agent’s just not that into you.

Last night I was wrangled into going to see the movie, He’s just not that into you. Well, I’ve been out of the single scene for a while now (thank heavens,) however, as I watched the movie, I couldn’t help but think that this is perhaps a message we writers need to hear sometimes, hard as it is.

The Scenario (come on, you know you recognize this):

You find that dream agent, the one who makes your heart go pitter patter. The one who is so perfect for you that it makes you scream. You know, that one. So, you send him/her you awesome, fantastic query. WOO HOO!! The dream is on! You can’t stop thinking about him/her! You can’t stop gabbing with your writer friends (or just your own mind) about how much you want that agent!

Minutes tick by. . . then hours . . . then days. You check your email every few hours. And yet . . . nothing. You start to worry. Is there some problem? Have I done something wrong? You send your friends test emails to make sure that both your outbox and inboxes are working. And yet . . . nothing.

So you get sad. You wonder, what the heck? Why isn’t he/she contacting me? Your writer friends assure you that they had this one agent who waited four weeks to contact them, but when they did it was with a full request. You hear the stories, but they don’t make you feel much better. So, you drown out your confusion and frustration in a huge can of Dr. Pepper. (P.S. I kinda wish they made them this big. Wouldn’t it be awesome?)

But, ultimately, don’t we have to accept the one truth? Agent’s just not that into you. Yes, it hurts. Yes, it sucks. But, if we can just embrace that fact, our lives open up to the healing powers of moving on. Isn’t it a freeing feeling?

*This blog does not recommend the act of jumping from a cliff, no matter how free you feel, until you have consulted with your physician and/or spouse.

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So, remember that scene . . .?

You know, the one I’ve spent the past two days working on? The one that is really hard to get right, but so important to the story? The one that I can’t proceed with the story until I complete it?

Yeah, that one.

It stinks. I’m trashing it.

*sigh* Back to the drawing board. (My Inner Editor is purring like a kitten.)

In other random news, my one year blogiversary is coming up. I should probably have some fun contest with prizes and laughter and games. Hmm . . . well, stay tuned.

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A Valenties Day Love Letter

This post is dedicated to my husband, and every other man with a writer wife :)

On this, the day of love, my mind naturally turns to my husband. I could spend an entire post rattling off the many reasons why I think he is the BEST, hottest, most wonderful husband. (Believe me, I could.) But, I’ll share that list with him, and spare you all the nausea.

However, I think that there is one thing that many of us writer wives and mothers can agree on. And that is the invaluable support of our men. I think each relationship varies, but there is a common thread of love and patience that husbands show to us, their wives.

It can be as simple as withholding that grimace when they come home (yet again) to a house in disarray. Maybe they’ll clean up that house themselves, to give you time to write. How many times has that husband entertained the kids on a weekend while you are upstairs typing away? And how many times has he settled down with a book or a tv show in the evenings, when the two of you could be spending quality time, but you have been overcome with the need to finish that new chapter?

Sometimes, the support takes on a different style. Our husbands are our personal sounding boards. We discuss stories, characters, plot twists. Voluntarily, or not. :) But, sometimes your writing is all you think about, and therefore all you talk about. Further down the road, husbands read our stories, and give us honest feedback. That’s actually a wonderful thing about a husband beta: he doesn’t sugar coat. (At least, mine doesn’t. :) But, I’m very grateful for it.)

And finally, husbands are there for us in the darker moments. When we get the dreaded writer’s block. When our insecurities overwhelm us and we are ready to give up. When the rejection letters start to pile up. Our husbands are there, telling us to never give up on our dreams.

So, to all you wonderful husbands out there, we, your writer wives say, “Thank you!” We know that we might not live up to the dream of the Domestic Goddess, but you didn’t want that anyway (right?) And that’s why we love you. You are there for us, despite our flaws, helping us to achieve our dreams. And that’s why we love you. You make the rough road a little more bearable, and a lot more enjoy able. And that’s why we love you.

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A windfall

In the past two months, you have all had to endure my whining about my lack of writing time, since I am living with one family and near another. Well, by some serendipitous chance, BOTH families are out of town for the week! YES!

heh, that sounds mean. I really do love my families! Very much. But, I am secretly giddy at this time of no distractions. Therefore, I am going to use this windfall of time to the fullest. I want to see just how much I can get done in a week. Maybe finish PAMR? We’ll see. I need to discipline myself if that’s going to happen. And that means no blogging. And no checking of blogs. Sorry, but you guys are just too much fun, and you take up too much of my time.

Therefore, I’m signing off until the weekend. So, adios. I’ll miss you all. But, now, I gotta go write! Yippee! :)

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Photoshop Friday

So, I think I am going to start a new feature. Photo essays every Friday. Why? Because I like it. :)

Today’s Title: The Great Grammatical Revolution*

*I want to make a quick disclaimer to all of you who so boldly defend the fortress of true and correct grammar. This is all in good fun. So, don’t be mad at me.

Have you noticed a trend in the writing community? People with such passion for grammar that they actually become enraged at the sight of poor or improper use of the English language. People who find it their duty to correct and defend the written and spoken word. People who quote Strunk and White with the same passion as a Red Guard quoting Mao’s Little Red Book. In fact, I’ve found the similarities between Grammar Nazis and the Red Guard to be chillingly accurate.

“Struggle against the impure! Struggle against those who do not use grammar correctly! Cleanse the world of LOLspeak!!!!!”

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Imagine my delight!

So, as many of you know, my computer has problems. ESPECIALLY my Microsoft Word. (Grrrr.) Anyway, today I learned that good things can come from malfunctioning software. In a nut shell, if I want my Word to work properly, I have to open two files from My Documents, my WiP and then a random one, close the random one, and THEN Word works fine. Confusing, I know.

At any rate, today I opened my WiP, and then went to open/close another file so that I could get started. One file name caught my eye. Outline Erik. I vaguely remembered that Erik was a story that I started about three years ago, but never got past page 40 (you know, that old song and dance.) But, apparently, I had made an outline for the story.

Well, imagine my delight as I read and realized that the story TOTALLY ROCKS!! Seriously! I’m quite giddy. Now, I have a full outline for a very cool story, AND I feel like now I have the ability to actually write that story well!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still all about PAMR, but it’s pretty sweet to know that, once I’m done, I’ll have a brand new idea to work on. So, for once, I don’t hate my lame computer! :)

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Regarding my decision

First off, I want to say thanks to everyone who offered kind words on my last post. You guys are all so nice. You made me smile. Janey, you made me laugh out loud. :) To all of you, I send my appreciation. You guys are the best!

In truth, this is a decision that I have made for many reasons. And I have thought this through a GREAT deal. And I feel good about it. That’s why I made the photo essay with the silly/creepy clowns and ship sailing off to the Gray Havens. (Lord of the Rings inside joke. Why yes, I am a nerd. :)

Anyway, I want you all to know these things.

1. No way on earth am I giving up writing. No way. Or my dreams of publication. Absolutely not. I am just turning my focus now to book two.

2. I do not set Miss Midas aside with any feelings of, “This book sucked.” On the contrary, I still love it. A lot. I just feel that I need to put it away for a while. And, who knows, I just might come back to it one day.

3. I feel good. Better than I have in a while. :)

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